Dodgers Win Scott Podsednik Sweepstakes

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Scott Podsednik has been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor leaguers: catcher Luke May and right handed pitcher Elisaul Pimentel. Rumors had been picking up in the last week that Podsednik was garnering heavy interest from National League Western Division teams and those whispers turned out to be true.

But what you want to know about most is the return the Royals got for Podsednik, who they’d signed to a one year deal (with an option for 2011) in the offseason. For two months of Podsednik, the Dodgers gave up their top catching prospect, Luke May, a 25 year old who was hitting well in Triple A Albuquerque. May is a converted shortstop so his career defensive catching numbers look a little rough, but he’s shown improvement, cutting down his passed balls every season. He’s thrown out 28% of attempted base-stealers in his minor league career.

Year Tm Lev PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2003 Dodgers Rk 184 19 40 8 0 0 10 19 38 .252 .350 .302 .652
2004 Ogden Rk 158 25 42 5 2 5 30 8 37 .286 .329 .449 .778
2005 Columbus A 416 46 88 14 2 9 53 16 92 .229 .267 .345 .613
2006 Columbus A 497 76 123 27 9 18 82 35 130 .273 .332 .493 .825
2007 Inland Empire A+ 554 81 130 25 3 25 89 36 107 .256 .313 .465 .778
2008 Jacksonville AA 441 54 90 27 1 13 54 32 112 .230 .294 .403 .697
2009 Chattanooga AA 277 32 72 18 1 6 32 31 58 .306 .390 .468 .858
2010 2 Teams AAA-AA 312 49 81 14 3 11 46 24 67 .285 .344 .472 .816
2010 Chattanooga AA 27 2 4 1 0 0 1 2 7 .167 .259 .208 .468
2010 Albuquerque AAA 285 47 77 13 3 11 45 22 60 .296 .352 .496 .848
8 Seasons 2839 382 666 138 21 87 396 201 641 .260 .321 .433 .753
AA (3 seasons) 745 88 166 46 2 19 87 65 177 .255 .328 .419 .748
A (2 seasons) 913 122 211 41 11 27 135 51 222 .253 .303 .425 .728
Rk (2 seasons) 342 44 82 13 2 5 40 27 75 .268 .340 .373 .713
AAA (1 season) 285 47 77 13 3 11 45 22 60 .296 .352 .496 .848
A+ (1 season) 554 81 130 25 3 25 89 36 107 .256 .313 .465 .778
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/28/2010.

He’s shown power in the past and in the past two seasons, he’s improved his strike zone judgement, though he has a below average walk rate. He’s cut his strikeouts down over the past two seasons, while showing similar batting numbers. He should continue in Triple A in Omaha. He has a shot to make the major league team in 2011.

As a converted shortstop, he’s said to have an above-average arm, and his abilities earned him a spot on the roster for Team USA in the World Cup last September. Baseball America placed him at #17 in the Dodgers prospect list. And hey, in 2008, the Dodgers traded third baseman-turned-catcher Carlos Santana to Cleveland for Casey Blake, so maybe…maybe there’s hope for May down the line.

But wait, there’s more!

Amazingly, the Royals got more than a top catching prospect out of the Dodgers for a one year player. The Dodgers also sent pitcher Elisaul Pimentel over for Podsednik. Pimentel is 22 and has some good looking upside.

Year Tm Lev W L ERA G IP R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
2007 Dodgers FRk 0 1 4.23 8 27.2 19 13 3 10 24 1.301 8.5 1.0 3.3 7.8 2.40
2008 2 Teams Rk 3 7 2.70 13 60.0 23 18 0 15 45 1.050 7.2 0.0 2.2 6.8 3.00
2008 Ogden Rk 0 1 6.75 2 4.0 3 3 0 2 2 1.750 11.2 0.0 4.5 4.5 1.00
2008 Dodgers Rk 3 6 2.41 11 56.0 20 15 0 13 43 1.000 6.9 0.0 2.1 6.9 3.31
2009 Ogden Rk 4 4 4.73 13 59.0 39 31 4 15 48 1.458 10.8 0.6 2.3 7.3 3.20
2010 Grt Lakes A 9 3 3.49 17 90.1 37 35 6 35 97 1.173 7.1 0.6 3.5 9.7 2.77
4 Seasons 16 15 3.68 51 237.0 118 97 13 75 214 1.228 8.2 0.5 2.8 8.1 2.85
Rk (2 seasons) 7 11 3.71 26 119.0 62 49 4 30 93 1.252 9.0 0.3 2.3 7.0 3.10
A (1 season) 9 3 3.49 17 90.1 37 35 6 35 97 1.173 7.1 0.6 3.5 9.7 2.77
FRk (1 season) 0 1 4.23 8 27.2 19 13 3 10 24 1.301 8.5 1.0 3.3 7.8 2.40
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/28/2010.

Pimentel shows some promise, though he might have some issues with walks in the future as he advances. But with a minor league career K/BB ratio of almost 3-to-1, he’s easily someone to take a flyer on. Pimentel’s fastball sits around the low-90s and can hit the mid-90s occasionally.

For a nice Dodgers reaction (from a Royals fan’s standpoint), you can check out Chad Moriyama’s reaction.  Moriyama and other Dodgers bloggers had Pimentel jumping into their in-seasno top 30 prospects lists, so to get both minor leaguers is a steal for Dayton Moore.  I believe I saw that the Dodgers are also picking up the remainder of Podsednik’s 2010 salary, which is another win.

So basically, I’m ecstatic.  The move also opens a spot on the major league roster for a future callup, and more moves could be on the way.  With a spot in the outfield now open, we may see more playing time for Alex Gordon in left field, with Mitch Maier making more appearances, or, I hope (sorry Mitch) that Jose Guillen plays some right field (until the Giants give in and trade for him) so that Kila Ka’aihue can finally get some at bats at the major league level.

Getting a chance to see if Kila can hit might be the biggest win of the deal.  Now let’s see if it happens.  That situation should clear up tomorrow.

Roster Update: My hopes of Kila coming up to fill the gap may be dashed this time, as Bob Dutton tweeted a moment ago that Greg Holland may make the jump from Triple A to Kansas City.  Holland has a 3.81 ERA in Omaha, but has struck out 9.5 batters per nine innings.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Dayton Moore Elisaul Pimentel Kansas City Royals KC Lucas May Luke May MLB Ned Colleti Royals Scott Podsednik

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